Friday, December 15, 2017

Who you are in January: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using:  bingo ~ advent ~ mittens ~ children ~ chestnuts ~ tree
They were submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

It's mid-December, arguably the busiest time of the year. And the most festive. There are just 10 days until the advent of Christmas, 11 days until Kwanzaa, not to mention that it's already Chanukah. Bingo, we've entered the vortex of celebration. Food, fun, family, parties, hangovers, excessive eating, decorating overload . . . there's something for everyone this season, whether you're adorning a tree, roasting chestnuts (which I do, but not over an open fire, in the oven) or have your own family traditions.

I'm a "happy holidays" person. I've talked about it on this blog before so I won't go all through it again. I believe that to wish people happiness in whatever they're celebrating does not in any way diminish what I observe. I'm fortunate in that I have been able to share friends' holiday traditions (love joining in the decoration of their trees) and had them participate in mine (we've played dreidel with more friends who aren't Jewish than who are). I'm angered, though, that in my neighborhood we're forced to pay dues, then some of that money is given out to the home deemed to have the best Christmas decorations. I've heard the argument that Christmas is being diminished, yet what I see is that theirs is the holiday that takes center stage in this country. We've come a long way, but we still have a ways to go when it comes to religious equality. 

But I digress. I said I wasn't going to talk about differences and I won't. I'd rather focus on some of the shared way we celebrate and most importantly, when that ends. 

There's a lot that happens in December, no matter your religion, that is so positive. We focus on family, friends and relationships. We give. We not only honor each other with the thought we put into gifts, but we often throw and attend parties together, bake for neighbors and coworkers.  

Cherry Lime Holiday Shortbreads, a shortbread cookie celebrating the colors of the season with maraschino cherries and lime candies | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies
Cherry Lime Holiday Shortbreads
Cherry Lime Holiday Shortbreads, a shortbread cookie celebrating the colors of the season with maraschino cherries and lime candies | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Charity is often in the mix. We're personally involved in one that feeds the needy in our town. And another where we "adopt" a child in a children's home and purchase them gifts from "Santa". No matter what else is going on in the world around us, this is the season for finding it in our hearts to reach out, to share, to ease the burdens of others. 

But what about the next season? When those same people still need food, clothes, a hand? I don't ask this question for myself. I ask for the children. No, not just those who have less, but those who have plenty. The little ones who are watching us, learning from our actions, emulating our behaviors. Do we tell them that we absolutely do care for others? And there's a season for that?

So in this month of giving, as I button up my cozy coat, put on my warm scarf and my fuzzy mittens, I'll be thinking not only of who I am in December, but who I want to be in January. And February. And March . . .  

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Cherry Lime Holiday Shortbreads

Ingredients (makes 2 dozen):
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup maraschino cherries
1/2 cup lime skittles

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

*Beat butter. Mix in the powdered sugar incorporated and beat until smooth. Carefully beat in the flour and cherries. Mix in the skittles. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
*Chop the maraschino cherries well.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.
*Remove cookie dough from the fridge, roll into 1 inch balls, place on the cookie sheets and flatten firmly with the bottom of a well greased glass. Bake for 15 minutes. 
*Remove from oven. Cool for 2 minutes then, using a spatula, push the melted candies up to the edges of the cookies. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the parchment paper.
*Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave until completely smooth when mixed. Drizzle over the cookies. Allow to set.


  1. Delicious cookies and a wonderful sentiment. No, we are not all equal. We would like to think so and even demand it, but unfortunately I'm afraid we will always be separated in some form or fashion.
    In years past we have donated food, clothes and our time to those in need. Especially children because they can't help their situation but my issue with it is this, everyone is in the giving spirit in December but come January we totally forget those in need, go about our everyday lives and move on. Those in need are in need 365 not just 1 day or 1 holiday...okay I'll jump down off my soap box before I really go on a tangent. Good for you! So glad you're thinking about who you will be next year, who you can and what you can do. Kudos

    1. I think it's easy to remember to give in December as so many charities are front and center this time of year. That doesn't make the need less the rest of the year, though.

  2. I agree Karen. We need to make this effort everyday not just in December. It's very important that my grandchildren grow up not only grateful what they do have, but willing to lend a hand to those you don't. We can always do more, your heart can never be TOO full. Happy Holidays!

    1. I love that you see this through the eyes of those grand babies. I'm sure they'll learn the value of doing for others.

  3. Those cookies look amazing! Now all I need is my Cherry Coke Zero and I'm all set!

  4. Those cookies look amazing! Now all I need is my Cherry Coke Zero and I'm all set!

  5. You know, I do get tired of the all inclusive "holiday" which really means "Christmas". Not that I have anything against Christmas (the secular celebration - if you come to my house to play dreidel, I'll show you my Santa collection. Yes, I have one.) But, for example, my job had a "holiday ugly sweater" day and the memo announcing it had a picture - all of Christmas ugly sweaters. I'd really wish they said Christmas when they really mean Christmas. So end of rant, and I enjoyed your post and how you Used Your Words - and the thought about how we teach our children about charity through them observing us in their everyday lives. Alana

    1. I agree, we teach our children best through our actions.


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